A 52-year-old man who became stranded in his pickup truck in a snowdrift in Alaska and below-zero temperatures survived nearly three days by eating frozen beer out of cans as if it were beans, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday.
The man, Clifton Vial of Nome, drove out into the wilderness north of Nome in his pickup truck earlier this month, but got stuck in a snowdrift at one point. He was wearing only tennis shoes, jeans and a $30 jacket, so he didn’t dare go outside to try to dig his truck out.
Vial told the newspaper he occasionally started the truck to run the heater and listen to the radio. By the third day, the truck was nearly out of gas.
When Vial didn’t show up for work two days after he got stuck, his employer reported him missing. Troopers searched for him on the ground and from the air. Meanwhile, Vial ate the frozen beer he had in his truck. “I cut the lids (of the cans) off and dug it out with knife,” he told the paper.
The temperature outside was around 17 below zero.
“I tried to sleep when I could,” he said,” but I knew that I might not wake up.”
He said he never even heard the rescuers arrive. But they got him out of there. He said his legs felt as they had been beaten, but he found no signs of frostbite. “I weighed myself last night,” he said. “I lost approximately 16 pounds.”